The UN practiced a scam operation… “Al-Masa Press,” through documents, uncovers the scandal of the alternative ship for Safer

Exclusive – Al-Masa Press| Report: Yahya Mohammed Al-Sharfi:

An agreement to maintain and unload the Safer tanker and buy a replacement ship, along with the old floating tank being removed and sold as scrap, was signed in March 2022 by the Sana’a party, which was represented by the Supervisory Committee for the Safer file, Abdullah Fahim Investment Group, and the United Nations.

The UN initially asked for $80 million after the agreement was signed, which was later boosted to $100 million and eventually to roughly $140 million. Justified its action due to “the war in Ukraine and the global rise in iron prices”.

The United Nations attempted to collect donations to cover maintenance and transportation costs. They managed to collect around $90 million but were unable to raise the remaining amount. They only managed to obtain approximately $6 million out of about $45 million. Despite the fact that the ship (Nautic) they purchased had less than five years of expected lifespan, it was bought at a very high price of $55 million. Moreover, according to Yemeni oil experts who are knowledgeable about the floating tank Safer file, the ship itself has become dilapidated and is no longer technically suitable.

“Al-Masa Press’s” sources confirmed that the price of the ship itself on the website where it was offered for sale was lower than the price at which the ship was purchased. Nonetheless, the ship was purchased and taken to Singapore for maintenance, and it is currently moored in Djibouti.

The sources added that the maintenance ship (Marine Mobile Workshop) that is currently close to the floating tank “Safer” is what will begin the maintenance procedure to transfer the oil to the alternative ship.

<strong>The ship Safer and a ship workshop Nadavor<strong>

Dr. Abdulghani Jeghaman, a Yemeni geologist and researcher living in Europe, wondered in a special statement to “Al-Masa Press” about the reasons for not selling the crude oil contained in the Safer tanker rather than moving it to another ship.
He added, “The problem is that this crude oil will be transferred from a ship with reliable and better quality, strength, and durability than the ship that was purchased as an alternative,” emphasizing the need for the UN to sell the oil on the Safer ship to ensure that no pollution occurs.

Jeghaman stated that the Safer ship is Japanese, and in addition to being one of the three largest ships in the world, its details, structure, and construction are exceptionally sturdy and durable. He questioned the UN’s decision to replace it with a second, older and weaker ship that had been built sixteen years earlier, had only been in operation since February 2008, and was currently in worse shape than Safer.

The geologist Jeghaman highlighted that “the real problem and the imminent danger is in the crude oil in the floating tank, not in the (Safer) ship itself. So why replace the tanker with a dilapidated ship and transfer the oil to it while the issue remains? What the United Nations is doing is merely postponing the problem.

Jeghaman added: “In my opinion, a major reason why the international community and donors did not agree to finance the maintenance of Safer, discharge its oil, and then tow it for sale is that the replacement ship is fundamentally dilapidated and does not guarantee the prevention of an oil and environmental disaster in the Red Sea. This was proven when the United Nations recently requested an increase of roughly $40 million and received only about $6 million, in addition to the lack of clarity about the procedures to be implemented.” In summary, what the United Nations is doing is merely postponing the problem.

“It is not a replacement for Safer”

According to documents which was obtained by “Al-Masa Press” from numerous specialized sources, the ship purchased to replace the Safer tanker is not prepared and equipped to be an alternative for Safer in carrying out its intended job as a loading platform. In other words, it will continue to be a transport ship and cannot take the place of Safer in the process of loading crude oil to a different transport ship.

The “Nautic” ship looks to be in considerably decrepit condition based on the documents that are now available. The pictures included in the documents indicate that the ship has become rusty, and its refurbishment in Singapore was only to conceal the accumulated rust caused by its long period of operation, which is about to end as its expected lifespan is less than five years.

<strong>A picture of the Nautic ship in April 2016 showing its condition and areas of structural deterioration<strong>

“High stakes”

A source at the Safer company in Marib, who requested anonymity, told “Al-Masa Press” that the ship purchased by the United Nations is not technically qualified to be a replacement for the Safer tanker due to the weather, climate, and nature of the area where the ship will be anchored.

The source also said that this alternate ship’s hazards are very considerable because of its technical state and stated that because the “Nautic” ship’s construction is weakening and rust has been visible since 2015, it will not be able to resist the humid weather in Hudaydah. This is a serious and concerning problem that the ship has been facing for 13 years since its expected lifespan ended.”

Oil storage companies disclaim responsibility

A difficulty with the agreement between the United Nations and the businesses that own the crude oil held in the Safer ship was mentioned in a UN internal report on the floating tank “Safer” crisis that “Al-Masa Press” was able to get. According to the report, this issue makes the maintenance procedure, the transfer of the stored quantity, and its disposal difficult. The organization suggested that after the oil is unloaded, the replacement ship be left close to the Safer tanker and that the crude oil not be disposed of until a thorough political agreement is reached.

<strong>The UN internal report on the Safer Tank Crisis including proposed solutions actions demands and responsibilities<strong>

However, experts claim that this suggestion gave the oil corporations that hold various percentages of the crude oil in the Safer floating tank the go-ahead to absolve themselves of responsibility for the Safer crisis. European experts concur that in order to prevent an environmental catastrophe, the oil companies that hold stock in the Safer tanker should contribute to finance the acquisition of a substitute floating tank and bear the other associated costs. The global environmental organization Greenpeace undertook efforts to raise awareness of the crisis, the last of which was in early May, but the oil companies ignored the matter and refused to respond. Neither the oil companies, nor the countries, nor the United Nations responded to the matter.

Oil companies' shares of the total Safer Tank

The table below illustrates the number and names of companies that own shares of the crude oil stored in the Safer tank and each company’s share of this quantity.

The United Nations and Euronav’s successful scam

The vessel “Nautic” is one of three vessels—”Nautic,” “Nectar,” and “Nobel”—that were sold by the Belgian shipping firm “Euronav” to the Chinese firm “Sinopec” for $126 million three and a half years ago. As of December 30, 2019, Sinopec is now the official owner of the three vessels and paid a down payment of $23 million for the ships. And in Euronav’s official announcement of the deal, a clause was included that the $23 million was a capital gain and that after paying off the current debt, the company would receive a profit of $66.6 million in cash.

Since Sinopec did not pay the full amount, it was agreed that Euronav would lease the three ships for 54 months at an average rate of $20,681 per day per ship. The lease period began on January 1, 2020, and will continue until the end of the 54-month contract, which means that the last day of leasing the “Nautic” ship is the first day the ship enters service as a replacement for the Safer tanker. Documents collected by “Al-Masa Press” tell and confirm this.

<strong>The alternative ships data for the Safer reveals the truth about the vessels condition age and year of manufacture<strong>

“From the above, it appears that Euronav participated in a conspiracy with the United Nations to deceive both the Yemenis and the international community, who shared the cost of maintaining the Safer tanker, the alternative ship, and other expenses. This was done by selling a ship to the United Nations that had previously been sold to the Chinese company Sinopec, and then leasing it for 54 months starting in early 2020. The duration is expected to finish by the end of the current of June. This means that the United Nations deliberately hindered the maintenance of the Safer oil tanker, and repeatedly attempted to avoid signing a clear agreement with the Sana’a government from the early years when Sana’a warned of the risks of leaving the Safer oil tanker without maintenance.” It then procrastinated since 2020 and did not officially sign with Sana’a until March 2022, i.e., a year and three months before taking delivery of the Nautic ship, which was still operating under a 54-month lease contract at the time. The United Nations believed that the one-year and three-month period was sufficient to arrange the rest of the procedures and preparations prior to the maintenance and transportation process, which is supposed to start soon. Because the alternative ship is now available, and its lease contract has ended.”


It follows that the United Nations purposefully attempted to obstruct progress on the Safer file and were successful in doing so in order to buy more time before the lease agreement for the replacement ship “Nautic” expired, which was bringing in more than $20,000 per day for 54 months to the benefit of Euronav and the Chinese company.

Perhaps the United Nations was a secret partner in profiting from this deal twice: the first came from receiving a portion of the ship’s rental income in exchange for delaying Safer’s maintenance, and the second came from agreeing with Euronav to buy the Nautic ship for a price that was significantly higher than the price at which Euronav sold the same ship to Sinopec in late 2019.

<strong>United Nations purchase document for the Nautic vessel at a cost of $55 million despite the ships deteriorating state<strong>

Euronav sold three ships that were built at the same time and went into operation in April 2008. These three ships are very similar in size, and they were sold for $126 million at the end of 2019. After three and a half years, the United Nations purchased one of these ships for $55 million, which is a huge amount considering the ship’s age. This is truly a disgraceful act of fraud, which reveals the other face of this “profit” organization that exploits the crises of the world’s people to achieve financial gains.

<strong>Euronav buys three ships including Nautec for $126 million and after 3 and a half years sells one for $55 million<strong>

Fifty-Five million dollars for a ship that was sold three and a half years ago for $42 million

The unfortunate and sad thing is that the international organization paid all of this money for a ship that was in terrible condition more than 8.5 years ago, with rust covering its body and outer structure, and the photographs obtained by “Al Massa Press” prove it. How will it be today after operating all these years, being sold multiple times, and hiding its flaws in every recycling process? And the CEO of the ship-owning company himself admitted to this fact.
“Hugo De Stoop, the CEO of Euronav, commented on the sale of the three ships to the Chinese company Sinopec at the end of 2019, saying, “Euronav is pleased and honored to execute this deal with a leading Chinese party.”

He added, “We are renewing our fleet, and that is why we were able to sell the three ships at an excellent price, and we also guarantee that they can still be recycled, but with a reduced load.” This confirms the increasing wear and tear of ships, which is what the “Nautic” ship has experienced and is currently undergoing. It has only been recycled twice since the end of 2019—once during that time period and once just a few weeks ago in Singapore—before the United Nations bought it for a price that is nearly two times its actual value.

“What is Sana’a’s position regarding this catastrophe?”

By any standards, what transpired is catastrophic. This is a summary of the remarks made by experts in this field who spoke with “Al Massa Press,” some of whom even questioned the rationale behind why the international donors who gave money to the UN to carry out this deal chose to ignore the fact that the latter had wasted their funds. They also questioned whether the international contributors were not aware of the reality of the deception they fell victim to. However, it appears that the deception did not only affect them, but it has become evident that the Sana’a government, headed by the supervisory committee responsible for the Safer file, has also fallen victim to the profit-driven schemes and deals of the United Nations, which use humanitarian titles and public international interest as a cover for their implementation.”

“The loss is greater than the gain

According to informed sources, once the Safer ship is emptied, it will reportedly be sold as scrap for more than $20 million. The ship’s facilities and equipment, on the other hand, are invaluable, and Yemen will not be able to make up for them due to the expensive expenditures associated with their high quality.

Hassan al-Zaydi, a former spokesperson for the Yemeni Ministry of Oil in the Sana’a government, says that the Safer tank includes machinery and pressure that Yemen cannot obtain even after 20 years, in addition to control, monitoring, and sensing devices.

He added in two tweets on his Twitter account that the pumping machines that will be used to move the “Devil’s Departure” device will not be able to move the device to clean the transport lines. He confirmed that the pumps on board the floating tank “Safer” are capable of converting the transport line into a multiple line by separating solid or liquid materials, which allows the line to be leased and generate income. According to the cleaning and disposal plan for Safer, everything inside it will be lost, and Yemen will not be able to compensate for it.

Based on the information provided by the official in the Sana’a Oil Ministry, it appears that the losses to Yemen will outweigh the expected benefits, as Safer will be replaced by an alternative vessel for which there is currently no evidence of the United Nations’ sincerity, especially since the temporary vessel was purchased rather than rented, confirming that the United Nations will back out of its agreement with Sana’a to supply a substitute tank for Safer and will content itself with keeping the dilapidated Nautic vessel to replace Safer and the United Nations will justify its escape from its responsibility by using the Comprehensive Political Agreement as a pretext for not implementing the agreement signed in March 2022. The United Nations’ internal report explicitly mentioned this, linking the comprehensive political solution in Yemen to a permanent alternative to the Safer tanker. This means that the United Nations will use the stored quantity in Safer and later in Nautic as a bargaining chip, pressure, and blackmail against the Sana’a government for four years from now, until Nautic begins to collapse due to the end of its assumed lifespan.


According to the United Nations’ internal report on the Safer crisis, the Sana’a government has no responsibility for any repercussions resulting from any negligence during maintenance and transportation that may lead to an environmental disaster or additional negative consequences that could increase costs.

According to the March 2022 agreement between the Supervisory Committee for “Safer” tank maintenance and replacement, the United Nations, and the local mediator, represented by the “Fahim” group, which “Al-Masa Press” was able to obtain from a dependable source, the Yemeni Republic, also known as “the authorities in Sana’a,” has no financial obligations and all expenses are covered by the United Nations, with Sana’a providing all necessary facilities for the project.

<strong>Sanaa the United Nations and Fahim groups agreement to replace the Safer tanker<strong>

“UN violation of the agreement”

In accordance with the first paragraph of the Sana’a-UN agreement, “the United Nations undertakes to provide and supply an alternative and equivalent floating tank to Safer that is suitable for export within 18 months.” The following is stated in the fourth clause:
The parties hereto agree that it may occasionally be necessary to provide a temporary carrier to move the inventory from the floating tank Safer to a temporary vessel. Considering the technical aspects while choosing the location, the UN will in this case provide this temporary vessel and remain close to the floating tank Safer until clause number 1 is put into effect. Later, the UN will draft an operating plan that adheres to the contents of this agreement.

Considering the aforementioned, it is presumed that the replacement vessel “Nautic” is simply a temporary vessel; however, it has not been officially announced yet. The vessel is referred to by the UN as an alternative to Safer, and as clarified above regarding the specifications and condition of the dilapidated and unsuitable “Nautic” vessel as an alternative to Safer, the United Nations has violated the agreement by doing this.

“Temporary solution to the disaster”

How is it conceivable that the United Nations paid $55 million for this vessel if it were just intended to be used temporarily? Renting the temporary vessel rather than buying it makes sense for the United Nations, especially considering the same vessel was just days ago operating under a lease contract for $20,000 per day, $600,000 per month, and $7.2 million per year. The cost of using a temporary vessel would not exceed $7 million because experts do not think the United Nations will need to utilize one for longer than a year. The “Nautic” vessel does not offer a solution to the problem, but rather it merely delays it for the next four years, assuming that it survives during this time given its poor technical condition and the weather and location conditions in which it will remain! Instead, the international organization wasted $55 million for the vessel on a dubious deal.

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